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USDA announces $238 million in funding for clean energy projects

The investment aims to lower energy costs, expand access to biofuels and create job opportunities.

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Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small revealed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be funding more than 700 clean energy projects. This initiative, bolstered by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, aims to reduce energy costs, enhance access to domestic biofuels, and create job opportunities across rural America.

The projects, which underscore the Biden Administration's Investing in America agenda, are designed to foster sustainable growth and boost economic development from the ground up. “The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are committed to expanding access to modern clean energy systems and fueling options that strengthen the nation’s energy independence while creating good-paying jobs and saving people money,” said Deputy Secretary Torres Small.

A substantial portion of the funding, amounting to $194 million, will be allocated through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to support diverse energy projects in 35 states and Puerto Rico. These projects range from solar photovoltaic systems in Pennsylvania to advanced biofuel facilities in New Jersey and Tennessee, aiming to enhance the income and operational resilience of agricultural producers and rural small businesses.

Furthermore, the USDA is dedicating more than $43 million through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) to increase the availability of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel across 15 states. This includes significant infrastructure upgrades such as the installation of biodiesel storage tanks in Pennsylvania and ethanol storage facilities in Kansas.

These efforts are part of a broader USDA commitment to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements, with more than $2 billion invested since the onset of the Biden-Harris Administration. The ongoing projects not only aim to lower energy costs but also to contribute to the economic vitality of rural communities by creating new job opportunities and enhancing the sustainability of local economies.

As these initiatives continue to roll out, the USDA remains open to applications for further funding, with a focus on supporting underutilized renewable energy technologies and expanding access to higher-blend biofuels. The goal is to continue building a sustainable and economically vibrant future for rural America in alignment with the Administration’s goals of enhancing national energy security and environmental sustainability.

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